Living with depression, for me, can feel very monotonous and pointless. Every day feels the same and I’m really not sure what the point of it all is. Things I used to love to do in my spare time feel gray and forcing myself to still do them is torturous.
Running was something that gave my life so much joy. The challenge of running farther and faster produced such highs and I only wanted more and more. As I became depressed the joy stopped. And that’s the best way I can explain what happened. For other runners who experience the “runner’s high”, it’s not only that I stopped feeling that, I stopped liking running altogether. My pace slowed, and even short distances felt exhausting.
There are many undesirable aspects of depression, losing the ability to enjoy pastimes I normally would being the most unforgiving lately. However, there are things depression has given me that I didn’t appreciate as much when I was well. Life is full of highs and lows and living with depression has helped me appreciate the good days more fully than I did before. On days where the depression does lift and I feel more like myself I am thankful. Here is a brief list of things that depression helped me appreciate.
1) I’m not always going to be depressed
On good days I am reminded that I’m not a defective human being. I am capable of feeling other things other than depression. I found a quote by J.K. Rowling – “Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced… it’s that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again.” On good days the glimmers of happiness are very hopeful. When I am feeling happy I appreciate the way the snow on the trees look, and I really enjoy going for a run. These were things that I had previously taken for granted. I am also left with hope that I am capable of having more good days.
2) My friends and family do love me
Even when I’m depressed I know my friends and family do love me. But, when I am feeling better I believe it. On good days I don’t feel as if my friends only talk to me because they feel bad for me, or like my family only tolerates me because they “have to”. There are good parts about me and I can see them too on good days.
3) I’m working on getting better and it’s showing
Even though I don’t enjoy running the way I used to I still run about 4 times a week. I also do hot yoga and play dodgeball once a week. I do my best to make good food choices and get enough sleep. While most of the time it feels pointless, on good days I appreciate the work that I put in. My efforts are not for nothing.
Does depression suck? 100% yes. Despite the string of meaningless dragging days, I remain hopeful that this will not always be how I feel. In the mean time I will enjoy the good days and relax when I can.
About Cassie S
25 year old psychiatric nursing student. I live with depression off and on and have since I was 12. Learning to ride the waves as they come. I'm an introvert who enjoys reading, art, and spending time with friends and family. I also really enjoy being active: running, biking, hot yoga, dodge ball and slo-pitch are a few favourites.